The buzz word in Washington today is “optics” with the goal being to take situations and proactively shape how they will be perceived here and around the world in order to fit a particular agenda. The White House Press Secretary for example anticipates questions and then comes up with responses that will hopefully steer the reporters into the direction he or she wants. I’m not saying they intentionally lie (I’m also not saying they don’t), as I’m sure they wouldn’t want to get caught but they share a side of a story that puts the Administration in the best light which is far from being transparent.
There’s a reason why if someone wants a degree in political science that he or she has to take at least one course on how to debate. Students learn to take one side of an argument/issue and convince people that their stance is correct even if ideologically they don’t believe in what they’re saying. Students learn to find elements of truth and magnify them to support their arguments. They clearly learn there are two sides to every story and regardless of which side is closer to being correct, it’s the person who can sell their story best (spin), who wins the debate.
The most effective politicians are those who can spin better than their peers and the wheel spins 24/7 in Washington, D.C., which means when it comes to the Federal Government, complete transparency isn’t going to happen. I’d imagine that members of the Obama Administration had to hold back laughs when they said they were going to be transparent because government transparency is an oxymoron regardless of the political party.
With this in mind, we live in a pseudo world because we don’t know the truth about what’s happening in our country. Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican and fighting passionately for your side, you aren’t arguing the complete facts because we don’t have them. There are several reasons for this including: 1) The Federal Government doesn’t think we can understand various situations because of the many variables often associated and how complicated they are so we don’t get all the facts. 2) It would take too long for them to educate the masses on certain events thus delaying critical response times. 3) If citizens knew the truth about everything then every other country in the world would too and this would be disastrous. 4) It could endanger the lives of men and women serving our country in a variety of capacities (i.e. Armed Forces, CIA, FBI, HLS, etc.), if there was insight into their operations. I hate it when the media tries to get details about what our responses will be to various events.
The bottom line is don’t expect government transparency because it doesn’t exist. Spin from politicians gets us too dizzy to see clearly and the fact is complete transparency isn’t in our best interest because it could create more harm than good.